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Our large strata scheme has had the same Chair for many years, with a family member of the Chair employed as office manager for a number of years. Some lot owners have said that the Chair bullies them and, with the office manager, denied or delayed services to them.
Recent attempts to have a more functional committee have been partially successful. For a time we’ve had a different chair, and the relative is no longer office manager. However, there is a possibility they both may return.
This is partly because a number of lot owners are afraid to attend meetings or give their proxy to someone else because our AGM minutes records who holds their proxy. These lot owners fear retribution from the Chair and office manager if they openly oppose them.
While Clause 29 in Schedule 1 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 allows for secret ballots to be held, Clause 180.1.f of the Act requires owners corporations to retain proxies delivered to them for 7 years. This means that, even if proxy holders aren’t minuted, their proxy forms can be inspected as per Clause 182 of the Act.
Clause 180.1.f seems to undermine Clause 29 in Schedule 1 because, with our strata scheme lot holders evenly split in two, it’s pretty obvious which ‘side’ you’re on when you give your proxy to someone. With the voting very tight, every vote counts and with people afraid to vote we’re struggling to get change.
What suggestions do Flat Chatters have for addressing this situation?
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